– three things I love to do. Come with!
Today Elisha and I had the opportunity to visit Patés Zubia, a local conservera with duck and goose products and piparra pepper pureés. We visited with Javi our sous chef from the Fronton de Tolosa restaurant and Sonia, chef at Solana 4. They were interested in the products at Zubia, so we tagged along for the morning.
Zubia produces its own duck prosciutto, cured duck breast that hangs for one month before it can be sliced thin just like jamon serrano.
They also produce a jarred piparra puree, the essential ingredient in local specialty Salsa Vizcaina, often served over bacalao. I had prepared this red pepper, garlic and Pimenton sauce when I staged at Basque restaurant Txikito in New York City; it was great to come full circle to see the peppers on their home turf.
In the production room today, we saw how the dried pimientos choriceros were soaked, pureed, and then bottled in glass jars. I wish I had Willy Wonka Smell-Vision to transmit the wonderful aroma from all the peppers.
Lastly, we saw their patés, foie gras and txistorra sausages.
Joseba, son of the founder Jose Luis Zubia, was shocked to hear that my home state of California will ban the sale of foie gras starting in July of 2012. He casually remarked that the ducks and geese that produce foie gras live in much better conditions than the laying hens that provide us with eggs for $2 a dozen. Zing!
It was a quick visit, but a valuable one. We all noted the cleanliness and the organization of their packing plant, especially since they were using our sponsor Sammic vacuum sealers.
I was also very impressed with the quality of their product. It made me want to simmer a Salsa Vizcaina all afternoon so my kitchen at home would smell as good as theirs.
Thank you, Pates Zubia, for opening your doors and sharing your production with us!
Also, many thanks to Sonia and Javi for bringing us along.